If you’re like many people, you don’t want to spend any more time than you have to thinking about things like budgeting, debt and your financial situation. On the other hand, failing to give adequate attention to these issues can affect every area of your life. Your bills can spiral out of control, your debt can mount and you can find yourself without the money you need to deal with an emergency or retire. The good news is that technology has made it easier than ever to get a handle on your finances.
Take advantage of the fact that you can have retirement money automatically taken out of your paycheck, portions of your pay automatically deposited in savings accounts and most of your bills paid on a schedule. Staying on top of these things can take up a lot of mental space, and forgetting to pay things on time can cost you a lot in interest and late fees. If there are payments that you can’t or don’t want to automate, you can create reminders.
The idea of automating your budget might sound too good to be true, but you can get apps that help you track your spending and create a budget. Do some shopping around to see which one is best for you because there are a lot of options available. For example, some can categorize your spending and help you stay below your limit in the areas you designate. Be sure to track spending over several months to ensure you get the most accurate picture of your habits.
Getting more information on how to save money on everything from your car insurance to clothing purchases and more used to require a lot of legwork, but now you can generally find out most of this just by going online. Use comparison engines to see what you could save by getting your insurance and other services from different companies, and download apps that help you with price comparisons. You can also look into strategies for dealing with your debts, such as refinancing your student loans. A refinance with different terms and lower interest rates can impact your debt repayment timeline and shorten the period of your loan. It can also help you reduce your expenses.
Perhaps one of the most exciting ways that technology has changed managing your finances is the opportunity to invest for just about anyone with an internet connection and a willingness to learn. You can start with just a few hundred dollars or even less in most cases. Robo-advisors can help you determine how to best manage your money, but if you want to buy small shares of stocks, you can do this as well. Technology has eliminated the middle man. Instead, you can use apps to get started. Beyond this, there are other intriguing opportunities depending on your appetite for risk. Such as cybercurrency or getting involved with crowdfunded real estate. These tend to be approaches that you should only follow if losing money won’t leave you in a bad position, but they can be fun, educational and potentially very lucrative.